Project Number: 5447-21220-005-03
Start Date: Oct 01, 2010
End Date: May 31, 2014
Novel tools, including molecular and biochemical gut content analysis and geospatial analysis, will be coupled with traditional techniques used to monitor insect populations and predator efficacy. Our approach will, under field conditions, manipulate key alternative foods and IG contests to determine how these individual interactions contribute to the ability of ladybeetles to suppress cereal aphids within systems where cover crop and field margin management strategies are evaluated in production scale plots. Using these strategies, the proposed project will not only provide cost-effective and realistic solutions for pest management issues faced by IS and US producers, but also will provide a better understanding of how spatial dispersion, IG predation, and the availability of alternative foods contribute to biological control by omnivores and carnivores within agroecosystems.